Friday, 28 November 2008

Capsule-shaped robots to perform surgical operations

Sponsored Links
Find high paying job. It's quick! It's Free!!Earn some quick money by spending just 5 minutes!!
Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (SFIT) are working on smart robots that offer a non-invasive approach to surgery. The ‘bio-microbots’ are no bigger than a capsule, which – when swallowed – will have several medical applications, such as performing gastroscopies and tissue biopsies.

One batch of scientists is developing bio-microbots with controllable legs with which the “robot pills” would be able to move around in the stomach, while others are working on special devices for tissue biopsy. In the future, such instruments could be used to make a precise examination of damaged regions in the gastro-intestinal tract, and simultaneously take tissue samples for subsequent investigation.

--- Picture: A single component of the surgical snake bio-microbot (left) will attach itself to other similar pills in the stomach after being swallowed individually, and form a larger snake-like robotic surgeon ---

A "SNAKE" in your stomach

However, the miniaturisation of such complex electronic systems is not an easy task. Researchers have to create fully-functional surgical robots that the patient can swallow, while also ensuring that the “pill” is compatible with the body.

The patient would swallow not one, but several ‘robot pills’ fitted with individual functions, such as the controller or forceps for tissue sampling. The pills could be swallowed individually, and they would then assemble themselves automatically to form a larger, more powerful system – like a snake – when they reach the stomach.

For this purpose, Zoltan Nagy, a doctoral student at the SFIT, as part of his research has developed a magnetic mechanism that enables the parts of the robot to join together automatically in the stomach to form an entire system. The individual components are polarised at right angles to the surface, so they arrange themselves in a predictable sequence when they come together. The system was tested in an artificial stomach with a 75% success rate.

Do not miss even a single tech update... Subscribe to RSS feeds now!

No comments: